Monday, June 20, 2005

Recommended for US Residents ONLY!

Two big things to be careful in the US:

Credit score/ Credit report - They affect your ability to get credit (car, home etc) and they tell you about any identity theft or false charges on ALL your accounts in one shot.


Free pre-approved credit offers - these are annoying junk mails but more importantly they often include blank checks that could be misused if they fell into the right (wrong) hands.

On the first one - US residents of most states are entitled to a free credit report once every year from the credit reporting company of your choice. I go with Equifax because I like them. You may pick any. In order to get your free annual credit report, please go to and they will redirect you to the credit reporting company that you choose. You can then get your free report. One thing to bear in mind. It might be a good idea to fork out the extra measly eight dollars to get a FICO credit score along with your free credit report. Reason is that lenders DO NOT go through your credit report line by line if your score is awesome. So if you get your score and it looks bad, you need to take corrective action immediately so that your credit line does not suffer adversely. Credit repair is fairly straightforward if you've got the discipline to do so. So go to this website, get your free credit report, pay the small amount for your credit score and analyze it thoroughly for any mistakes. You will see clear directions on how to file for a dispute if you think something is incorrect. By the way, some people will tell you that running a credit report against your credit will adversely affect your score. This is true ONLY if the credit report is run for the purposes of qualifying for credit. So in other words, if a car dealer wants to sell you a car and runs a credit report, that counts against you. But if you want to find out where your score stands, that's your personal business and does not affect your credit history or score. Let me know if you need advice on how to read through a credit report. Some terms were confusing to me and I had to go "google" them to fully understand their implications.

On the second one - either you're tired of getting these preapproved credit offers in the mail or you're afraid that if you simply trash the envelope, some of these contain blank checks for balance transfers etc that someone else might misuse. Both are very valid reasons to stop these offers from reaching your mailbox. Luckily there is a very convenient way to do so. Go to and opt out of receiving such offers. This is a website that is run by the four largest credit reporting agencies in the United States - Equifax, TransUnion, Experian and Innovis. They want to give consumers the choice of receiving or not receiving such offers. Of course at a later date, you can choose to opt in if you're on the lookout for some good credit offers.

The second one is really a matter of convenience. The first one is definitely recommended. It's for your personal safety and peace of mind.


Blogger BloggingSheHobbit said...

On your 2nd point, if you do receive stuff you don't want to take advantage of, it's good to just shred it all.

The long distance phone service I talked about is Sprint.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Sheeshers said...

Right ... please do shred whatever you get. If you need to buy a shredder , a cheap and effective one is:

Trust me, spend this money and save heartburn.

7:47 PM  
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4:17 PM  
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6:26 PM  
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